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Tag Archives: Children

Acting upon the voiced needs of Nakavika

Most of us start off isolated. Then we discover the thrills of adventure. We get slapped in the face by the lessons of exposure, and that leads to a rapid rethinking of everything our brains had already mapped. We like to think at this point that we evolve from a tourist to a traveler. There […]

iPads and chicken slaughters bring me clarity after five years

One little boy lifted the silver bowl of chicken heads to receive its next occupant, and I snapped out of my time-traveling thoughts. I stood up and returned to Vita’s house to find that the iPad had locked away its contents from the curious kids indoors. When I unlocked the iPad, I found the following paragraph, scribed by Samu:

Washing away old worries in a stone cathedral

“This is for you, Lindsay.” Waisale stood at the top of one rock wall, arms folded, and stepped forward into the air. I photographed his rapid descent and felt my stomach uncurl of worry. Before, I feared that suddenly departing their lives without explanation would sever ties or permanently damage our connection to the kids. These fears dissolved by the time Waisale resurfaced from the bottom of the gorge.

I want to teach under a bodhi tree.

Regardless of the reasons why it didn’t happen, I know what I want: engaged students every step of the way. That investment in time must provide me immediate return, onto which I can bank that long term effects are plausible. I am building daily on a blueprint created many years ago, when a long trip provided me a clear life goal. Of course, I also must find ways to steady my mood and know I cannot control all the variables that allow a student to be an engaged one.

Disgraceful Tourism

We travel because it’s a rare kind of high that can also enlighten, rejuvenate, and ensure the occurrence of adventure. Regardless of the road’s discomforts or challenges, travel seems to always evoke an inexplicable positivity – whether that’s from the possibility of new friendships or just the newness of a myriad of elements. The scope […]

Instant Withdrawal from the Kids: Day 63

One side of the sky was navy blue and brilliant with stars and a succulent moon; the other side hinted at the curvature of the globe with shades of pink. The dew making my feet squeak in my flip-flops mirrored the moisture on my eyelids. There wasn’t a wavering thought in our minds about returning […]

The First and Last School Visit: Day 59

Last I left the tales of this Fijian adventure, there was a major event that happened – one which led us to doubt the possibility of our project coming to be. After issues were resolved (in the eyes of the elders), we asked the Turaga ni Koro (village spokesman) to hook us up with a ride […]

And a Flying Fox in a Palm Tree: Day 25

There’s only been one other time when my Christmas wasn’t filled with earmuffs, slick roads, and airings of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. And the night we left for Maui with the rest of the holiday escapists was a tad doleful as we left winter in our contrail.

Video of the Week: Our Favorite Fijian Pastime

Something Garrett and I took full advantage of was the easy access to an incredible swimming spot, fit with rock jumps, mini-rapids, sand bars, bamboo for building “bilibilis” (or bamboo rafts), and tons of kids always wanting to join the fun. This spot in the Luva River is called Nabukalau, or black water, after a […]

Wai Wai Everywhere: Day 16

The aftermath of Cyclone Mick kept the skies gray and misty for the following three days. Nearby villages sent word of their damages; Nakavika was one of the luckier communities, thanks to their relocation. For decades, Nakavika sat in a nook of a river bend, level with the mighty Luva, until the mid 1950s when […]

Getting our Backs into it: Day 44

I looked at i-to-i a while back when I was weighing my post-graduation opportunities. My trouble with volunteer projects though is always that I’m not sure whether my presence will be accepted, appreciated, and utilized for the maximum amount of assistance I can provide. Sometimes you show up, and it’s pretty obvious a project is […]

What Little Work and Plentiful Play: Day 9

Being a “volunteer” in this village of Nakavika seemed to barely have the connotation that any work would be done by you. Given we came on the weekend and had to do no labor, I assumed Monday would crack down on our fun time with some blood, sweat and backaches in the farm. Ah, but […]

Chicken and Clams, Partying Khmer Style: Day 191

After seeing a film about orphans in northern Uganda, my parents felt moved to donate funds for the kids at Palm Tree. For about two weeks, I asked the administrators, teachers, and Evan what was lacking there or what needed additional funding to occur on the ground level. As the days passed, my interest in […]

The Cheap Battle Against Scurvy: Day 190

After ten days of teaching in classrooms, drawing cartoons, tutoring English, pushing swings, riding bikes too small for me, picking up from school, playing in the rain and watching TV while intertwined in a human pile, I finally felt comfortable taking my camera out of my room and clicking photographs of the kids I lived […]

This Travel Thing is Hard But Good: Day 54

The chaos has fully set in. Lauryn Hill and her soulful ballads mark my release from a hectic two days of studying, exams, and all that shipboard hooplah. It really is a shame that we spend such a ghastly sum of money for an incredible school experience, and the most distracting element of the trip […]

I Get Numb Thumbs for the Kids

Now the countdown is T minus 2 days until we get Allison buzzed and set her on the plane for the family vacation preceding the grand voyage (pronounced with a faux-french accent). New news…I make wonderful banana pancakes (Jack Johnson would be proud) for my daughters and my sicky bio-mama, I have developed a lovely […]